Surgeons Knot Tying Tutorial

Surgeons Knot Tutorial

The surgeon’s knot is used in medical and veterinary settings.  However, a surgeon’s knot can also be used in the home and in craft and hobby settings.  

Have you ever had trouble tying something and you wish you had another hand?  When tying a knot, is the first half knot coming loose as you try to finish the knot?  Try using a simple surgeon’s knot.

There are hundreds of different knots for doing hundreds of different things.  From sailing to mountain climbing, from fishing to crafting, learning how to tie the perfect knot for each situation is helpful.  Basic knots such as a square knot, half hitch, lark head knot are knot tying skills everyone should know.   Our knot tying page and macrame page have many knot tutorials.

To learn how to tie a simple surgeon's knot, watch this video tutorial or read on in the post for a photo tutorial with step-by-step instructions.

Watch our video tutorial below or click the link if you prefer to watch Surgeons Knot Tying Tutorial in Youtube.

Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

When to use a surgeon's knot:

  • Tying Quilts
  • Jewelry Making
  • Tying Knots with Twine
  • Wrapping Ribbon Around a Gift
  • Tying a Bow
  • Pom-pom Making
  • Macrame
  • Fly Fishing

Why Does a Surgeon’s Knot Work?

A surgeon’s knot makes tying a knot easier in most situations.  How? The second wrap (second half knot) increases the tension on the rope, ribbon, yarn,  thread or whatever you are using to tie a knot so the knot does not pull apart as you finish tying the knot.  

surgeon's knot tying tutorial


STEP 1: Starting the Surgeon's Knot

Surgeons Knot Tutorial - Step 1To demonstrate the surgeon's knot, I am using yarn.  However, this knot can be used when tying yarn, cord, ribbon, twine, string, paracord, fishing line, and other fibers.  

To begin, cross the yarn or whatever you are tying in the right hand over the yarn in the left hand, forming an "X".  

STEP 2: First Half Knot

Surgeons Knot Tutorial - Step 2To make the first half of the knot, wrap the left yarn over and around the right yarn.

STEP 3: Second Half Knot

Surgeons Knot Tutorial - Step 3Wrap the same yarn over and around the right cord again.  You now have two half knots on the yarn which form a wavy pattern.  Refer to the above picture to see the wavy pattern.

STEP 4: Finishing the Surgeon's Knot

Surgeons Knot Tutorial - Step 4Take the left yarn over the right yarn again forming an "X".

Surgeons Knot Tutorial - Step 5Take the left yarn which is now on the right through the loop making an overhand knot.

STEP 5: Pulling Ends Tight

Surgeons Knot Tutorial - Step 6Pull the two ends to form a tight knot.

The surgeon's knot is done!

All adults should know basic knot tying techniques.  But, knot tying skills can be a fun and useful activity for kids to learn.  This simple activity helps to develop fine motor skills and promotes eye and hand coordination.  Tying knots can grab their attention especially if you show them how the knot can be used in everyday situations such as tying shoes, camping, sailing, fishing or crafting.  Teaching kids to tie knots can be an enjoyable experience for them if you use some knot tying games.  


If you have any questions about this project, contact us through the YouTube Video comments or our Contact Us page. We respond to questions in e-mails and YouTube comments regularly.


Square Knot Tutorial Square Knot - The square knot is used to join two ropes/cords together. Learn how with this tutorial.

Larks Head Knot - This knot is frequently used in macrame but is used in other situations also.

Half Hitch Spiral Half Hitch Spiral - This tutorial will show to tie a half hitch knot and a half hitch spiral.

Supporting Products and links: Some of the links below may be affiliate links. We make a small commission on sales through the affiliate links, at no extra cost to you. Thank you in advance for your purchase and your support! Please see our full Affiliate Statement for more information.

My First Book of Knots

Learn how to tie knots you can use in fishing, camping, ranching, farming, and more. by Berndt Sundsten, Jan Jäger - Paperback - Published 2014 Affiliate Link to Amazon

Year of Knots

Instructions and projects that celebrate the diverse beauty and creative possibilities of macramé and knots such as a necklace, a dog leash, along with wall hangings and a hanging light. by Windy Chien - Published 2019 Affiliate Link to Amazon

The Knot Tying Bible

A guide to tying more than 70 of the most useful and dependable knots. by Colin Jarman - Spiral-bound - Published 2013 Affiliate Link to Amazon

The Ultimate Book of Everyday Knots

Any reader can master knots for fishing, boating, climbing, crafts, and household uses with this book. by Geoffrey Budworth - Paperback - Published 2012 Affiliate Link to Amazon

Surgeons Knot Tutorial - pin

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